There is a short stretch of road downtown that is suffering an extreme identity crisis. It doesn't seem to know if it's one-way or two-way, and that's information drivers really could use.
A Concerned Reader, who asked to remain anonymous, brought this to my attention in a recent email.
"For the last several months, I have been distracted/plagued by confusing signage on what was once the one-way (west) 12th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues.
"Street markings have that block marked with contradictory driving directions. From 6th, you see two 'one-way' arrows pointing west while a large sign underneath the arrow on the right signals 'two-way' traffic, as the cones down the middle of the street might suggest. However, the parking spaces on the south side of the street would indicate traffic moving west in a lane now marked to move east, if you abide by these lower arrows.
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"At Fifth Street, looking east, there are two 'Do Not Enter' signs to stop drivers from driving east while underneath one of these new signs is another 'two-way' arrow sign indicating traffic both ways. If you follow the 'two-way' sign east, you meet the cars parked facing west!"
Wow. Talk about mixed signals.
Alert readers who pay attention to the actions of Columbus Council (which I must do every other week or I don't get paid) may remember a few months back when the city administration wanted to restore two-way traffic to some of the east-west roads downtown.
Much like this stretch of 12th Street, council voted one way one day, then the other way the next. At first they had an inconclusive 4-3 vote, with some councilors expressing concern about the $400,000 price tag. (Traffic signals and the fancy poles they sit on aren't cheap.) But a couple of them had a change of heart two weeks later and they voted 7-1 to make the changes.
The decision will eventually restore two-way traffic to 10th Street from Sixth Avenue to Bay Avenue and on 12th Street from Sixth Avenue to Veterans Parkway. Twelfth will remain one-way going west from Veterans to Front Avenue.
That was back in April, as I recall. So why haven't the streets been changed? Well, not only are those poles expensive, but they're not off-the-shelf items you can get over at the Tractor Supply Co. They have to be special ordered, which takes as long as four months.
And now it's been four months.
Deputy City Manager David Arrington, who is the one who convinced council to go along with this, said work should begin soon on the stretch of 12th between Sixth and Veterans Parkway. At that time, all the confusing signs will be removed and new signs will go up to remind people of the street's new status, and the parking slots will be repainted in the right direction.
As for 10th Street, Arrington said that project will be done late in the year because there is so much activity along that street in the spring, summer and fall.
"We're going to wait 'til that dies down a little," Arrington said.
-- Seen something that needs attention? Contact me at 706-571-8570 or firstname.lastname@example.org.